Challenges and Workarounds | Install ESXi 8 on Unsupported CPU

Running VMware ESXi 8 on unsupported CPUs can be tempting for enthusiasts and those looking to maximize the use of existing hardware.


By Zelia / Updated on October 31, 2023

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Why running ESXi 8 on unsupported CPU is not recommended

VMware has a Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) that provides a list of officially supported hardware, including CPUs, for each ESXi version. Running ESXi on unsupported CPUs can lead to several issues:

  • Performance Issues: Unsupported CPUs may lack the necessary features or performance capabilities required by ESXi, leading to suboptimal virtualization performance.
  • Stability Concerns: Unsupported hardware configurations can result in system instability, frequent crashes, or unpredictable behavior.
  • Feature Limitations: Some ESXi features and functionalities may not work or may be limited on unsupported CPUs, potentially affecting your virtualization environment.


How to check if your CPU is unsupported for ESXi 8

To determine whether your VMware unsupported CPU detected, you can take the following steps:

1. VMware Compatibility Guide: Start by visiting the VMware Compatibility Guide on their official website. Enter your CPU model or family in the search bar and select the ESXi version you are interested in (ESXi 8.0 in this case). If your CPU is listed, it is officially supported; if not, it may be unsupported.

2. Check VMware's Knowledge Base: VMware sometimes publishes articles and knowledge base entries that contain information about specific CPU models and their compatibility with ESXi versions. Perform a search in the VMware Knowledge Base for relevant articles.

3. Consult CPU Manufacturer's Documentation: Visit your CPU manufacturer's website and look for documentation regarding your CPU model's features and requirements. This can provide insights into its compatibility.

4. Testing and Trial Installation: If you cannot find official information, set up a test environment with ESXi 8 on a system with the CPU in question. Test for stability and performance to assess compatibility.

5. Community Forums and User Experiences: Search for user experiences and discussions in community forums. Although user experiences are not official, they can offer valuable insights into whether ESXi runs on unsupported CPUs.

How to install ESXi 8 on unsupported CPU

While running ESXi on unsupported CPUs is not recommended for production environments, some individuals may choose to do so for experimental or testing purposes. If ESXi 8 on unsupported CPU not working, follow these general steps as an example for installation:

1. Begin by shutting down the ESXi virtual machine. Right-click on the virtual machine and select Edit Settings. Proceed to the CPUID Mask option and access the Advanced settings.


2. Within the Advanced settings, modify the eax field in the Level 1 category based on the underlying hardware. Utilize the following codes:

Intel CPUs: 0000:0000:0000:0011:0000:0110:1100:0011
AMD CPUs: 0000:0000:0110:0000:0000:1111:0001:0000


3. Now proceed to reboot your virtual machine, and you can commence the installation process, which should complete successfully.


4. The next step involves removing the CPU ID configuration set for the ESXi virtual machine.

5. Shutdown the ESXi virtual machine once again, and right-click on the Virtual Machine. Select Edit Settings, and navigate to the CPUID Mask option. Access the Advanced settings.

6. In the Advanced settings, for Level 1, select Reset Row to Default and confirm the changes by clicking OK.


VMware VM backup and recovery strategy for minimizing risks

To mitigate the risks associated with running ESXi on unsupported hardware, including unsupported CPUs, it is essential to have a robust backup and recovery strategy. AOMEI Cyber Backup is a reliable solution for creating and managing backups of VMware virtual machines and data within the ESXi environment.

With AOMEI Cyber Backup, you can create full, incremental, and differential backups of your VMware ESXi VMs, allowing you to capture the entire state of your virtual machines or only the changes made since the last backup. This flexibility enables efficient use of storage space and reduces backup time. And it also offers the following benefits:

✦ Perpetual Free: No time limit for AOMEI Cyber Backup Free Edition.
✦ Easy-to-use: Backup and restore virtual machines in a concise and user-friendly central console.
✦ Agentless Backup:Create image-based backup of multiple VMs without installing Agent on each VM.
✦ Restore VM From Any Point:Restore a whole VM from any backed-up point.

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports various versions including ESXi 6.0 and later versions. You can click the button below to enjoy the 30-day free trial:

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
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Simple steps to perform VMware VM backup and recovery

Step 1. Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup, select Source Device, click VMware >> +Add VMware Device. Then Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi to add a host. And then click to Bind Device.


Step 2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task >> +Create New Task. Then select VMware ESXi Backup for Backup Type. After that, set the Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule and Cleanup according to your need.


Step 3. Click Start Backup and choose Add the schedule and start backup now or Add the schedule only.


Step 4.When your backups are completed, it’s simple to restore entire VM from your backups. Navigate to Start Restore, you can change restore to original location or here to create a new VM or another datastore/host.



Running ESXi 8 on unsupported CPUs is a path filled with risks, including performance degradation, stability concerns, and feature limitations. It's important to consult VMware's HCL, CPU manufacturer documentation, and community resources to determine the compatibility of your CPU. Even if you choose to proceed with running ESXi on unsupported hardware, it's crucial to have a robust backup and recovery strategy in place to minimize risks and ensure data protection.

AOMEI Cyber Backup offers a reliable solution for safeguarding your virtual environments, making it an essential tool for those venturing into the realm of unsupported ESXi configurations. Remember that production environments should always adhere to hardware compatibility guidelines to ensure stability and performance.

Zelia · Editor
Zelia is an editor from AOMEI Technology.She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. Writing is one of her hobbies and she wants her articles to be seen by more people. In her spare time, she likes to draw and listen to music, and it is a pleasure for her to focus on her own world.